French chefs believe any recipe will improve with more butter. When in doubt, bakers add more butter. There is some magic in butter.
There is some truth to this trust in butter. The fat does something to the chemistry in the recipe that is released in the heat of cooking and baking. This is true of the canna butter used in edible recipes.
Most cannabis recipes produce a mild experience. It might be a touch of THC buzz or a soothing CBD calm. But there some people are looking for a heightened experience calling for a more potent cannabis butter.
How to make a highly potent cannabis butter –
Infused butters are a trending rage. Home cooks are adding basil, thyme, cilantro, and other herbs to their butter to use as a spread on good bread, a nice topping for pasta, and an enhancement for other recipes. Cannabis, after all, also has flavor and aroma.
• Step 1: Strategy
You must plan on how much butter you need and can use. The volume desired determines what you need in terms of ingredients. Refrigerated cannabis butter has a good shelf-life, but you do not want to fill your refrigerator with more than you will reasonably use.
The first thing to do is decarboxylate your cannabis. Also known as “decarbing,” this requires you to bake your weed, allowing the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids to activate. Also, it allows for lipids in butter and oil to easily bind to your weed for the ultimate cannabis infusion.
You will need cannabis, sheet pans, pots, cheesecloth, strainers, wood stirring spoons, butter, and molds.
• Step 2: Decarboxylation
You must process the cannabis to ready it for preparation. Decarboxylation is a chemical process that uses heat to release the THC and CBD from their original cannabinoid structure. The process releases the carbon as Carbon Dioxide allowing the remaining hydrogen atoms to do their thing.
Your process will vary depending on how much product you want. However, you could start with 0.5 ounces of cannabis. You grind and spread the buds, sticks, and/or leaves across a cookie sheet and slip it into an oven you heated to 220°F.
The process will reduce the water content, so you bake it as long as it takes for different grades of cannabis. You might try 20 minutes for an older stash or 45 minutes for good quality cured cannabis. The newest, just-harvested product might need 60 minutes to eliminate the moisture.
To avoid overdoing it and burning out the weed, you should gently mix the stuff every ten minutes, so all sides and pieces are exposed. The baking will turn the product from rich green to a brown green.
• Step 2: Cannabis Infusion
For 0.5 ounces of cannabis, you will need 1.5 cups of distilled water to avoid the chemicals and toxins in commercial, well, and city water. You will use 0.5 ounces of butter. Butter comes in different qualities, so you might want to shop for a high fat content and unsalted brand. Irish dairies, for example, produce rich butters available in most supermarkets. You might prefer clarified butter which has had the water and butterfat removed.
In a medium saucepan, you stir the decarboxylated cannabis into the warming water and butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, you must gently stir the mixture as it simmers for four hours. You should use a thermometer to keep the temperature at 180°F to prevent scorching.
After the four hours, you pour the mixture through fine cheesecloth or a strainer into a storage container. You can use a Mason jar which seals tight for refrigerating. Or, you can pour it into molds. One suggestion uses ice cube sized containers with lids, so you have a convenient portion available later.
• Step 3: Make Potent Cannabis Butter
You can make modifications to the preceding recipe. You can use slightly more water, butter, or cannabis. You can bake the cannabis at a higher heat for a shorter time to test its effects. But potency comes with higher quality and higher THC content.
You should shoot for a cannabis strain with 15%+ THC. You might try:
Memory Loss: 26 to 31%
CMO Cookies: 24%
Ghost OG: 23%
Silver Haze: 23%
Triangle Kush: 23%
Death Star: 21%
Kosher Lush: 21%
Lemon Meringue: 21%
Laughing Buddha: 21%
Each of these strains pack a potent punch when smoked or inhaled. They can create the psychedelic trip you want even when worked into recipes.
However, there are three cautions here:
Caution 1: When used in recipes, cannabis butter does not distribute evenly. If you picture a dish of home baked cannabis brownies, no two brownies contain the same dose of THC.
Caution 2: The high produced by cannabis edibles takes longer to take effect, so you must avoid the temptation to consume too many too soon. It will be 20 minutes or more before you feel any impact, so you should not pop them into your mouth too frequently. If you are taking back-to-back hits of 23% THC in any form, you will feel it.
A potent THC experience may include problems with communication and coordination, paranoia and hallucinations, erratic heart performance, and more.
Caution 3: Decarboxylation and following the stove recipe will produce a lot cannabis odor. It can produce a major reveal if that is a problem for you.
The new cannabis demand –
Whether cannabis is legal or not where you live, people are turning to edibles for their brain or body benefits. They are increasingly concerned about the disadvantages and damaging side effects of smoking or inhaling. And, they are drawn to cannabis edibles as a great option.
Because cannabis butter is a critical ingredient to most baked edibles and because people are creating many recipes other than the legendary brownies, they are making batches of butter with some regularity.
Consumers will build up a tolerance for the cannabinoid impacts, so they opt for pushing the potency envelop. While that is fine, you should consider the risks.